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Humphries Comes Through In The Clutch For Drillers Again

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For the second game in a row, Tulsa Drillers outfielder Brian Humphries was a walk-off hero. With two outs in the ninth and the score tied, Humphries' base hit scored Joey Wong from second, giving the Drillers an 8-7 walk-off victory over Corpus Christi on Monday night.

It was the second straight walk-off win for Tulsa, and Humphries produced the game-winning hit in both. Sunday afternoon, he ended a 13-inning marathon against the Hooks with a double that scored Tyler Massey.

A rare Monday night sellout crowd watched Monday's dramatic finish that set the stage for a post-game Independence Holiday Fireworks Show. Paid attendance was 8,354, the 12th sellout at ONEOK Field this season.

The game-deciding ninth began when Wong led off with a single. When Trevor Story popped out and Ryan Casteel struck out, it appeared Tulsa was headed to extra innings for the fifth time in the past seven games. However, a wild pitch from Hooks' reliever Richard Rodriguez moved Wong into scoring position and set the stage for Humphries. Two pitches later, he grounded a ball between third and short. Corpus Christi left fielder Leo Heras fielded the grounder in shallow left and appeared to have a strong chance to throw Wong out at the plate, but his throw skipped past catcher Tyler Heineman, allowing Wong to slide home safely with the winning run.

The hit gave a much-deserved win to Tulsa reliever Ken Roberts (5-2). The lefthander held the Hooks to only one hit and no runs over the game's final four innings. The outing was the longest this season for a Drillers relief pitcher.

Corpus Christi wasted little time in taking an initial lead in the game. The night's first batter, Tony Kemp, hit his first home run of the season to put the Hooks in front. It was only the second homer surrendered by Tulsa starter Tyler Anderson this season.

The Drillers tied the game in the second inning when Taylor Featherston doubled with one out and scored on a base hit by Jared Simon.

The Hooks benefited from a strange play to retake the lead in the top of the fourth. With runners at second and third and two outs, a pitch from Anderson skipped by catcher Jose Gonzalez. The Tulsa catcher quickly retrieved the ball and threw home. The throw and runner Jiovanni Mier arrived at the plate at almost the same time. Home plate umpire Ronnie Teague initially called Mier out, but the ball escaped Anderson's glove, making Mier safe and giving the Hooks the run and the 2-1 lead.

Simon struck again in the bottom fourth to give the Drillers their first lead. With two outs and the bases empty, David Bergin drew a walk. Simon followed and deposited a pitch from Brady Rodgers onto the grass berm in left-center field for his seventh home run of the season.

Tulsa's 3-2 lead did not last long as the Hooks responded in their next at-bat. With two outs and Delino DeShields at first, Jonathan Meyer split the gap in right-center field. The hit rolled to the warning track, allowing the speedy DeShields to easily race home and tie the score at 3-3.

The Drillers took their biggest lead of the night with four runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth. Consecutive doubles from Wong and Story produced the first run. After Casteel reached on an error, Story came home on a wild pitch. Two pitches later, Featherston hit a line drive into the bullpens in right field for his 10th homer of the season and his 7th in the month of June. The two-run shot gave Tulsa a 7-3 lead.

The Hooks again wasted little time in responding. Reliever Josh Mueller took over for Anderson and was making his first Double-A appearance since August 14 of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. It was a tough debut for Mueller, as all four batters he faced reached safely on two walks and two triples. Roberts came on and was greeted by a sacrifice fly from Kemp that capped the big inning and tied the score at 7-7 and set the stage for Humphries to again be a hero.

Casteel finished hitless in five at-bats, ending his 14-game hitting streak. Tulsa had 10 hits in the contest with Wong, Humphries, Featherston and Simon getting two each.

The win allowed the Drillers to finish their 6-game homestand with a .500 record.

Tulsa will have a travel day on Tuesday before beginning a six-game road trip in San Antonio Wednesday evening. Richard Castillo (2-7, 5.09 ERA) will pitch the opener for the Drillers against Josh Geer (4-7, 3.63 ERA) of the Missions. Starting time in the Alamo City is scheduled for 7:05PM.

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